MICE 2017 Programming Schedule Announced

Press Release:

MICE will feature two full days of comics programming with workshops and demonstrations by professional artists, along with panel discussions on topics central to comics. All of our panels and workshops are appropriate for all-ages, but look for the Kid-Friendly tag for activities geared toward families and young readers. MICE is free and open to the public.

Saturday, October 21st

Panel to Panel 
11:00 AM – 12:00PM | Saturday, October 21, 2017 | Lesley Room
A picture can say a thousand words, but two pictures can say even more! Cartoonist Braden Lamb (Adventure Time Comics) leads experiments in putting different random pictures together to come up with all new stories and ideas. Then create your own comic that’s more than the sum of its pieces!

Instructor: Braden Lamb

Character Evolution
11:30 AM – 12:30PM | Saturday, October 21, 2017 | Eliot Room
Discover the secrets of character design through a fun exercise led by cartoonist and animator Bob Flynn. Create your own creature that starts simple, then levels up into an awesome monster!

Instructor: Bob Flynn

Comic Storytelling and Pacing
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM | Saturday, October 21, 2017 | Lesley Room
The art of comics is not just about writing or drawing, it’s how the pictures go together to tell your story. Explore different visual storytelling methods with comic creator Dirk I. Tiede. Exercises in outlining and thumbnailing will help you establish a sense of time, mood, and pacing between panels, across a page, and throughout an entire book.

Instructor: Dirk I. Tiede

Iron Cartoonist
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM | Saturday, October 21, 2017 | Amphitheater
MICE pits top cartoonists against each other in a live drawing event. Utilizing themed “ingredients,” three artists will compete for the title of ultimate cartoonist and earn prizes for audience members!

Host: Zack Giallongo; Contestants: Luke J. Howard, Luke B. Howard, Abby Howard Judges: Christina Kelly, Mark Siegel, Zach Clemente

Fuzzy, Funny, Fierce! Drawing Animals
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Saturday, October 21, 2017 | Eliot Room
Do you love comics starring animals? Do you want to draw your own? We’ll talk about our favorite animals, how to draw them, and how to tell their stories in our comics. Art supplies will be provided, so be ready to DRAW!

Instructor: Zoe Piel

Writing for Comics Workshop
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM | Saturday, October 21, 2017 | Lesley Room
Explore the dual languages of comics and discuss the parameters of the form with cartoonist Josh Neufeld of the Solstice MFA Program’s Graphic Narratives Concentration. Then jump into the comics-writing process: visual thinking, encapsulation, and scripting. We’ll end on a short exercise that will leave you excited about writing your next comic! Sponsored by PINE MANOR COLLEGE, Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program

Instructor: Josh Neufeld 

Comics and Islam
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM | Saturday, October 21, 2017
Muslim identity and practices are featured more comics than ever, from mainstream titles like Ms. Marvel to independent graphic memoirs. This panel takes stock of this important growing field — including the brand-new book Muslim Superheroes: Comics, Islam, and Representation — and presents the perspectives of both academics and creators.

Moderator: Hilary Chute; Panelists: Hussein Rashid, A. David Lewis, Sara Alfageeh 

Cartooning Adventure
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM | Saturday, October 21, 2017 | Lunder Arts Center
Join Amulet series creator and celebrated graphic novelist Kazu Kibuishi in this interactive workshop. Be ready to draw and learn how to start your own quest in comics! Admission to this workshop is free but there is limited seating available. It will be held at the Lunder Arts Center (1801 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA) next door to the main MICE venue.

Kazu Kibuishi is the creator of Amulet, an exciting fantasy adventure series of graphic novels from Scholastic. Kazu’s earlier work includes his webcomic Copper and his debut graphic novel, Daisy Kutter: The Last Train, which won the YALSA Best Books for Young Adults Award. As the editor and a contributor to the Flight and Explorer anthologies he fostered a showcase for innovative creators working in all-ages fantasy, adventure, and sci-fi comics. Kazu lives in Washington state with his wife and two children.

Comic Life Drawing
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM | Saturday, October 21, 2017 | Lesley Room
This introduction to figure drawing gives cartoonists of all skill levels an opportunity to draw from a live model! Explore the basics of dynamic movement, weight, and human anatomy. Easels, paper, and conte crayons will be supplied.

Instructor: Cara Bean

Inspiration and Influence
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM | Saturday, October 21, 2017 | Amphitheater
All artists are affected by the work of others, whether it be giants of the past or contemporaries. Four exciting comics creators reveal the artists who have informed their storytelling and graphic styles. Stylistic chameleon R. Sikoryak leads the discussion on the nature of artistic influence.

Moderator: R. Sikoryak; Panelists: Ethan Rilly, Michael DeForge, Katie Skelly, KL Ricks

Worldbuilding in Comics
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM | Saturday, October 21, 2017
Inhabiting an imaginary universe is one of the great pleasures of comics, for creators and readers alike. In this panel, four adept world-builders discuss the development and design of their fictional universes, and how they use the medium to reveal and explore them in a narrative context.

Moderator: Evan Dahm; Panelists: Isabel Greenberg, Mark Siegel, Anne Szabla

Sunday October 22nd

Making Mini-comics: The One Sheet Wonder
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM | Sunday, October 22, 2017 | Lesley Room
Grab a single sheet of paper and be ready to draw your next comic! Cartoonist Laura Terry (Graveyard Shakes) shows you how to make make the simplest of mini-comics from start to finish.

Instructor: Laura Terry

Queer Fantastic
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM | Sunday, October 22, 2017 | Amphitheater
How do LGBTQ themes, character and creators blend with worlds of fantasy, science fiction and the supernatural? What happens when queer stories take place in imaginary or science fiction realms? A panel of creators discuss their work at this juncture of genre and identity.

Moderator: Melanie Gillman; Panelists: Mildred Louis, Blue Delliquanti, Ashanti Fortson, Olivia Li

Interactive Comics
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM | Sunday, October 22, 2017 | Eliot Room
Go behind the scenes with Jason Shiga (Demon, Meanwhile) and his 20 year career making choose-your-own-adventure style comics. Jason shares his one of a kind experiments and methods so you can learn the secrets of creating your own interactive comics!

Jason Shiga is an innovative cartoonist from Oakland, CA whose graphic novel Meanwhile (Amulet Books, 2010) broke new ground in comic storytelling with a “pick any path” format. His most ambitious project is his webcomic Demon, a dark comedy about an immortal man’s misadventures in finding a way to die. The four-volume series – an L.A. Times Book Prize finalist, an NPR Best Book of the Year, and Eisner Award winner – is now published by First Second Books.

Drawing from Imagination
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Sunday, October 22, 2017 | Lesley Room
Images can be more powerful and blend better with words in comics when they come from your mind’s eye. Kurt Ankeny will guide you through techniques to exercise your visual memory and hone your ability to distill the essential image of an object from observations or photographs.

Instructor: Kurt Ankeny

Making Comics (When Everything Sucks)
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Sunday, October 22, 2017 | Amphitheater
Combining the personal and political in a timely manner, this panel will discuss the challenges and rewards of creating comic art during difficult times. Like everyone, cartoonists grapple with issues of emotional, mental, and physical well-being, which many of us are finding exacerbating by the political environment. How do comics artists remain creative, finding and making meaning through their work while struggling to pay the rent, get through the next petition or Facebook rant while still take caring of ourselves?

Moderator: Heide Solbrig; Panelists: R. Sikoryak, Liz Prince, Luke J. Howard, Whit Taylor

Non-fiction Visual Storytelling Techniques
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM | Sunday, October 22, 2017 | Eliot Room
Discover what make memoir and nonfiction comics tick with cartoonist Sophie Yanow. Explore long-form and short-form autobiographical comics, and then try out exercises and techniques to help you kick-start a daily diary comics practice.

Instructor: Sophie Yanow

Inking Techniques Workshop
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM | Sunday, October 22, 2017 | Lesley Room
Markers, brushes, crow quill pens… There are many different inking tools you can use in comics, and each can inform the mood and feel of your drawings. Now you can test them out for yourself! Comic artists Clay McCormack and Jesse Lonergan lead demonstrations and exercises to familiarize you with some of the tools used by professionals.

Instructors: Clay McCormack, Jesse Lonergan

Comics & Migration: Moving Visual Language Into America
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM | Sunday, October 22, 2017
Comics represent a unique format for capturing a cartoonist’s life, history, family, and memory in a way that visually recalls cultures, customs, and traditions that are new to a wide swath of readers. In this panel, we will explore the benefits of using the universal language of comics to demonstrate cultural identity to readers in order to open them up to the world and experiences of the cartoonist.

Moderator: Jason Rodriguez; Panelists: Julia Alekseyeva, Dave Ortega, Iasmin Omar Ata, Leila Abdelrazaq

Fold Up Comics
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM | Sunday, October 22, 2017 | Eliot Room
There is a wide variety of folding and book construction techniques that can help create a truly unique reading experience. Cartoonist Jerel Dye (Pigs Might Fly) will introduce you to accordion book design to make your next comic something that everyone will want to open up!

Instructor: Jerel Dye

Comics and Poetry
3:45 PM – 4:45 PM | Sunday, October 22, 2017
There is an ongoing relationship and cross-pollination between comics and poetry. Comics creators, poets and critics will explore the formal elements and energies that link the two art forms, as well as discuss recent experiments in poetry comics.

Moderator: Hilary Chute; Panelists: Steph Burt, Madeleine Witt, Franklin Einspruch, Christopher Spaide

MICE (Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo) will be held at Lesley University’s University Hall at 1815 Massachusetts Avenue in Porter Square. The hours of the show are Saturday, October 21st, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, and Sunday, October 22nd, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Admission is free. Further information available on the website: www.micexpo.org

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LadiesCon Panel Schedule Announced for this Saturday

The 2nd annual LadiesCon will be held this Saturday, Sept. 16th at the Armory in Somerville, MA from noon till 5:00 PM! The show will present writers, artists, creators and artisans specializing in comics, fantasy, and science fiction, with a particular emphasis on creators who identify as women, LGBTQ, non-binary, and people of color, as well as local artists. Meet creators, buy books and crafts, and see panels on a variety of topics, including cosplay and fanfiction! Admission is FREE!

LadiesCon’s panel discussions are hosted by experts and fans alike. They are scheduled throughout the day in our two panel rooms, one upstairs and one downstairs.

The Bechdel Test and Fandom
12:00 – 12:50PM, DOWNSTAIRS PANEL ROOM

  • Janet Gershen-Siege, freelance science fiction author and blogger for Adventures in Career Changing
  • D.R. Perry, writer of Paranormal Humor, Alternate History, and LARP.

There just aren’t a lot of female heroes out there, still. And the ones who are out there often have no one to talk to other than men. What does it mean when films, books, and television programs fail the Bechdel Test in 2017? Is there a more systemic problem? How can it be fixed? What can indies do? How about consumers?

Women in Comics Retail
12:30 – 1:20PM, UPSTAIRS PANEL ROOM

Reflections on changes in the industry, predictions for the future, insights into the day-to-day life of a comic shop worker (it’s not exactly sitting around reading books & passing judgement) & DEEP DISH on the books & creators we love & hate!

Accessibility and Creativity in Cosplay: How to Make Cosplay for Everyone
1:00 – 1:50PM, DOWNSTAIRS PANEL ROOM

  • Rhea McCullough – Moderator
  • Carolyn Frantz
  • Jennifer Rzasa
  • Stephanie Mann
  • Melanie Anne Coombs

As cosplay becomes a more and more popular way of expressing fandom, people are making it work for them in various creative ways. Our panel of cosplayers will discuss how to cosplay on a budget, cosplay for people of varying abilities, and other burning questions from newbies and experts alike.

Wonder Woman Conquers the World!
1:30 – 2:20PM, UPSTAIRS PANEL ROOM

This summer, Diana of Themyscira conquered the world is an unstoppable blockbuster movie that out shined all her DC predecessors! Join our panelists as the delve into the comics history that inspired the film. We’ll talk favorite stories, characters, creative teams and show our love for all things Wonder Woman.

One True Pairings, Shipping, and the Romance Genre
2:00 – 2:50PM, DOWNSTAIRS PANEL ROOM

Shipping is part of the fabric of fandom communities. We all have an OTP, like Lois and Clark or Diana and Steve. But there’s also an entire fictional genre devoted to shipping, romance, that contains heroes and relationships similar to the pairings that fandom loves. Join us for a walk through romance in comics and how that relates to the feminist genre of romance.

Working in Audiodrama
2:30 – 3:20PM, UPSTAIRS PANEL ROOM

  • Lisa McQuilkin: Actor. “A.S.H.le” from Hadron Gospel Hour
  • Tanja Milojevic: Producer/Creator/Actor, The Penumbra Podcast
  • Simone De Boudoir: Actor, Edict Zero, What’s The Frequency, Electric Vicuna productions, Campfire Radio Theater

Audio drama podcasts are on the rise.  No longer relegated to a small number of dedicated listeners, Audio dramas are finding their way to car radios, living rooms, and live stages. We invited several local voice actors and creators to discuss the process, rewards, and unique challenges of audio-only entertainment.

Women in Games: From Designing to Playing and Nurturing the Next Generation
3:00 – 3:50PM, DOWNSTAIRS PANEL ROOM

  • Tracey Michienzi, Co-Founder and Co-Organizer of ELS Game Day
  • Savannah Camacho, Co-Founder and Co-Organizer of ELS Game Day
  • Emily Care Boss, Independent Game Designer/ Publisher, Black and Green Games
  • Adri Kliger, Co-Organizer of Women in Games, Boston
  • Meg Stivison, game designer for Small Monsters Games
  • Sarah Zaidan, comics artist and game designer

Have you ever looked around just to notice that you are the only woman in your game group? Ever feel like you don’t belong in the hobby? Trust us, you aren’t alone. The number of women who admit to gaming as a hobby are rising, and we are going to talk about it. Our esteemed panelists will discuss women’s roles in the gaming industry, equality in gaming, and how to create a positive gaming environment to set a good example to women gamers of the future.

The Expanded Universe: The Art of Fan Fiction
3:30 – 4:20PM, UPSTAIRS PANEL ROOM

  • Taylor Hendel – Moderator
  • Charlotte White
  • Linda Endinger
  • Caitlin Walsh

Even our favorite books and movies can leave us wanting more, whether we’re wondering how else things might have played out, wish more time had been spent on certain plot points, crave more queer or minority characters, or just want to see what happens next. Fanfiction is the way some folks explore their favorite fictional universes, putting the characters and/or setting in new contexts. Come learn more about this ever-growing art form from a variety of perspectives.

The Comic Book Spectrum: Modes of Creation
4:00 – 4:50PM, DOWNSTAIRS PANEL ROOM

The Women in Comics Collective International is an organization that highlights the merit and craft work of women working in the comic book industry. Their on going panel series ‘The Comic Book Spectrum’ discusses the various aspects of the industry that help keep the medium current and expansive. This installment will focus on the different ways comic books are produced, distributed and how they continue to thrive in an ever changing, multimedia industry.

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Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Avenue, Somerville, Massachusetts 02143
(617) 718-2191

The Return of LadiesCon 2017

Press Release:

The Ladies of Comicazi, who represent an inclusive community devoted to consuming, critiquing, and creating comics and pop culture, are teaming up with their homebase, Comicazi, to bring the second annual LadiesCon to the Armory on September 16, 2017 from noon till 5:00 PM. Admission is FREE!

The one-day show will present writers, artists, creators and artisans specializing in comics, fantasy, and science fiction, with a particular emphasis on creators who identify as women, LGBTQ, and people of color, as well as local artists. Attendees will have the chance to meet creators, buy books and crafts, and see panels on a variety of topics, including gaming, fanfiction, and cosplay.

Last year’s show attracted 500 attendees to Davis Square, and this year promises to be even bigger and better, with an estimated 2,000 visitors.

Meet creators, buy books and crafts, and see panels on a variety of topics, including cosplay and fanfiction! The first show was a huge hit – don’t miss this one.

GUESTS INCLUDE:

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Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Avenue, Somerville, Massachusetts 02143
(617) 718-2191

MA – Gender and Color in Comics

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Press Release:

Harvard Book Store and the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research welcome Joel Christian Gill, John Jennings, and Mildred Louis on Monday February 6, 2017 at 7:00 PM for a panel discussion on gender and color in comics, followed by a book signing.

Joel Christian Gill is the Chair of Foundations at the New Hampshire Institute of Art and recipient of the 2016 Boston University College of Fine Arts Alumni Award. He wrote the words and drew the pictures in STRANGE FRUIT, VOLUME I: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History and BASS REEVES: Tales of the Talented Tenth, No. 1.

John Jennings is a Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California at Riverside. His work centers around intersectional narratives regarding identity politics and popular media. Jennings is co-editor of the Eisner Award–winning collection THE BLACKER THE INK: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art and the illustrator for the graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler’s classic dark fantasy novel KINDRED.

Mildred Louis studied animation at Sheridan College in Canada, and launched her first webcomic series—AGENTS OF THE REALM—in March of 2014.

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Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 661-1515